Sheesh, it only took me three years to get here...I should blog more! We've been busy this past month, but Halo has still been getting some ride time. She's almost perfect on the longe line now, with all her up and down transitions in place, and even several speeds of trot. She's finally figuring out how to rate her lope a little bit too.
Lately, she's been teaching Casi how to ride!
What surprised me most is that with Casi she is slow, slow, slow, and rather stubborn about it. They've had some epic battles just to get to a trot. This is making me analyze how I'm specifically asking Halo to do things, because there is obviously more to my cue than what I'm describing to Casi as I teach her. What am I doing differently that implies "trot" to Halo more strongly than the leg and voice command? It could be something as subtle as the way I move my seat, or the way I'm changing the length of my reins before asking for the trot.
Halo and I are still working on leads, and she is getting better. I don't think she's quite figured out that outside leg means canter. She is still heavily relying on my voice cue, saying "canter" and giving her a double kiss. I need to start working with her on making the leg my pre-cue, and then ask her to canter with my voice. Hopefully she will begin to associate the pre-cue with cantering and we can go from there.
Fingers crossed--I think I finally have an english saddle that fits! It's a Stubben Edelweiss. It is not as comfortable for me as the last one, but fitting Halo is more important. I think I need to invest in some half-chaps at some point.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you and your ponies are well.